I love the title, it may sound silly but for whatever reason I already like this book because of its title. However, I am going to just write below the first sentence of the blurb that hooks me too:
Everyone knows Elizabeth and Jane’s parents were magical murderers. But blood isn’t everything.
Wait a minute! What?? Magical murderers? Are we talking of Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet?! Why? What happened? Ok, let´s continue reading:
When the girls are forced to reveal their elemental magic, it does not matter to the Mage Council that they did so only to save lives. Their parents were traitors, and the entire magical community is simply waiting for them to descend into evil themselves.
The Council reluctantly admits Elizabeth to the magical university (and unofficial marriage market) called The Season, where she will learn how to control her powers. If she can keep her head down and avoid drawing any untoward notice, she might be able to graduate and finally be accepted as a fire mage.
But fading into the background will be difficult. Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, nephew to Lord Matlock of the Mage Council and a student himself, is assigned to observe her and report any misstep. One mistake could send her back to her foster parents, the Bennets—or worse, to prison. Yet when that mistake inevitably comes, he stands up on her behalf. Could he be an ally instead of an enemy?
When pranks between classmates become something more dangerous—and potentially deadly—Elizabeth will be forced to depend upon her friends—including Mr. Darcy. There’s something terrible lurking beneath the surface of the Season, and it will take everything Elizabeth has to survive it.
I am not really sure I like pranks anymore if they can be so dangerous. However, what about the foster parents? So, when did their biological parents acted? Where they executed as they were traitors? Is Jane going to the university too? How is Mr. Darcy in this book? and Lord Matlock? Many questions and one way to answer them… reading A Season of Magic by Sarah Courtney.
Sarah Courtney loves to read fantasy, fairy tales, and Pride and Prejudice variations, so what could be more fun than combining them? She currently lives in Europe where she homeschools her six children and still manages to write books, which has to be proof that magic exists!
Today Sarah Courtney is sharing a lot with us, but do not forget to visit the other stops on the tour!
July 28 Austenesque Reviews
July 29 My Jane Austen Book Club
August 1 From Pemberley to Milton
August 2 Savvy Verse & Wit
August 4 My Vices and Weaknesses
August 5 Babblings of a Bookworm
What about buying A Season of Magic? You can already do it!
Sarah is explaining some important things about this magical world in A Season of Magic, then she is sharing a funny excerpt. However, why is Wickham here? (oops! mini-spoiler)
Thank you for having me on My Vices and Weaknesses! My latest Pride and Prejudice variation, A Season of Magic, is a fantasy that takes place at a magical university called “the Season.”
Many people in this fantasy world have some degree of magic known as a talent, but it is only those who can control the elements themselves—fire, wind, water, and earth—who attend the Season.
Fire mages protect farms, grasslands, and woodlands from the dangers of uncontrolled fires. They can help warm crops or prevent frost when it is unseasonably cold, and they can lower fevers of the sick. Wind mages can guide clouds, winds, and storms, clear smog and smoke so that cities have fresh air, and clean the air of contaminants. Water mages can find water during droughts, purify water that is dirty or carries disease, and help control floods. And earth mages can help both with shaping the earth and with growing and protecting plants.
Elizabeth would love to use her own fire magic to help others. But her parents exhibited the worst side of power. While elemental mages can use their powers for good, they can also use them for evil. After her parents’ crimes became known, she and Jane became targets of scorn. It is challenging enough to attend the Season as an orphan, much less one with notorious and hated parents.
Mr. Darcy is the nephew of Lord Matlock, a member of the Mage Council, and so he feels obligated to keep an eye on Elizabeth in case she turns out like her parents. Or, at least, that’s the initial purpose of his interest.
Elizabeth begins to grow weary of Mr. Darcy’s constant attention and decides to play a little trick on him in the scene below. Along with her element of fire, she has the talent of metal-working. She can shape any metal without needing heat or tools.
In this scene, each student is supposed to concentrate on their element while their teacher, Mrs. Suckling, walks around the room making deliberate attempts to distract them as a test of their focus.
Elizabeth could not help a glance at Mr. Darcy. He was still looking at her, his tree complete. But then, it was not as if he had to do much once the tree was grown. Earth was the easiest element for this sort of practice.
His hands stroked the small trunk of the tree, and Elizabeth noticed his signet ring. Almost without thinking about it, she reached her metal magic out to the ring. Gold, then. Easy to work with.
A bit of mischief rose in her, and she smiled to herself, her eyes on her fire sphere, as she stretched the ring just a bit. Not enough to be ridiculous, just a couple of sizes.
Mr. Darcy cut off a word of exclamation and leaped to his feet. His ring had slipped off his finger and bounced to the floor.
“Mr. Darcy, as much as I appreciate your addition to my distractions, I think it would be better if you remained focused on your own creation,” Mrs. Suckling scolded.
Elizabeth hid a grin as she neatly shrunk Darcy’s ring back to its usual size as he picked it up and placed it back onto his finger. His face was red, but he made no response to Mrs. Suckling but a short bow. His tree had collapsed in his absence, and he busied himself growing it again.
She waited until he was busy adding more leaves to his tree before she stretched the ring again. This time he caught it just as it bounced onto the desk, which was a little disappointing.
He eyed the ring suspiciously, but as she had shrunk it back to its usual size as he caught it, there was nothing to notice. This time, though, he did not put it back on his finger. He placed it on his earthen desk and continued to shape his tree, thickening the trunk and spreading new branches.
Elizabeth sighed and returned to her fire just in time to jump when Mrs. Suckling whipped her ruler through the air just in front of Elizabeth’s face. Her fireball disappeared.
Mrs. Suckling looked thrilled. “Miss Bennet, your attention cannot be so easily distracted. Fire is a dangerous element! Someone could die if you jumped and lost control the moment you were startled.”
“Yes, Mrs. Suckling.” Elizabeth pulled her fire back to life and began to shape the ball again, wondering whether she could make the ball able to keep its shape without continuous attention. If she could create it and give it the initial heat but leave it to keep burning, none of Mrs. Suckling’s tricks could destroy it.
She had almost forgotten about her little games with Mr. Darcy’s ring until the end of class.
“Has anybody seen my ring?” Mr. Darcy called just after Mrs. Suckling declared them done for the day.
Elizabeth bit her lip and glanced at his desk. She did not see it. Had she taken her little joke too far? He would never have lost the ring if he had kept it on his finger.
Mr. Wickham agreed. “I never take mine off during the day,” he said with a grin. “You cannot lose it if it is on your finger.”
Miss Bingley said, “I see it, Mr. Darcy.”
There, half buried in the trunk near the bottom of the tree, was his signet ring.
He groaned as he reduced his tree to an acorn and retrieved his ring. “Thank you, Miss Bingley. I should not have liked to lose it.” He put it back on his finger, shaking his head.
Elizabeth felt an extra bounce in her step on her way to Lord Stornaway’s class. She was tempted to tell Mr. Wickham that she had got a little revenge on Mr. Darcy, partly for his sake, but she thought it better not to. Mr. Wickham might let it slip, and it was better if her prank remained unknown.
Well, unknown to the subject of the prank, but she would still enjoy mulling over Mr. Darcy’s red face when his ring went bouncing across the floor. Yes, she would relive that many times, indeed.
Anybody is surprised that Elizabeth´s talent is with fire? Me neither and I love it!
I like cheeky Elizabeth but I do not like Wickham being already friends with her, as I can read from these lines. However, will Darcy know what´s going on with his ring? I need to know and read it too. I really want to know more of how they end up here, what was what her parents did and much more. Above all, how do we get to a HEA? Because we get one, right? 😉
Sarah is giving away one eBook per blog stop. If the winner is from the US and prefers a paperback, he/she may choose that instead of the eBook. If the winner has already preordered the book, he/she may choose another one of Sarah’s books for their prize.
Comment on what you have read in this post, or if you have read the book, what do you think about it (no spoilers please). You can also give us your opinion on magic in Pride and Prejudice variations.
The contest is open until the 8th of August 2022 at 23:59 CEST. After this date I will announce the winner. Good luck!!